New Tesla Model 3 versus used Tesla Model S: verdict

There's no bad car here, so you can pick which one suits your lifestyle and budget best, but the Model 3’s lower costs sway it for us

Tesla Model 3 versus Model S
Verdict rating

4.5 out of 5

 First place: Tesla Model 3

The Model 3 really is as significant a car as the Model S was when it arrived. It takes all of the Model S’ great aspects and makes them more accessible, and it’s that accessibility that secures the win here.

The monthly finance in particular will make a Model 3 more affordable for a lot of people, where the Model S may remain out of reach even on the used market.

Added to that the interior design, faster charging capacity, impressive equipment levels and a tidy, enjoyable handling and comfort, and we’re totally sold on it.

Second place: Tesla Model S

This is still one of the best electric cars out there, and it does feel a class above the Model 3. It comes with a sense of ‘Lording It’ over others that the daintier Model 3 misses out on.

Not only that, the space and performance are good enough reasons on their own to justify a full-fat Model S (although the 3 Performance can of course punch just as hard as most S variants).

It’s money that sways it in the end. Not only finance, but even buying outright you can be looking at a lot more for a used S than a new 3, and that’s enough to tip the scales in the smaller car’s favour.

Specs

2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

2017 Tesla Model S 75D

Price

£40,990

from £40,000 (estimated)

Electric motor(s)

Single

Dual

Power

245bhp

362bhp

Torque

375Nm

660Nm

Transmission

Single-speed auto, rear-wheel drive

Single-speed auto, four-wheel drive

0-60/30-70mph (on test)

5.8/4.5s

4.3/3.5s

Top speed

124mph

124mph

Braking (70-0/60-0/30-0mph, on test)

47.9/35.5/8.8m

42.8/35.6/12.3m

Energy consumption (on test)

4.3 miles/kWh

3.1 miles/kWh

At-home charge cost (13p/kWh)

£7.00

£10.50

Tailpipe CO2 emissions

0g/km

0g/km

Road tax

£0

£320 (years 2-6)

Length

4,694mm

4,979mm

Width

1,849mm

1,964mm

Height

1,443mm

1,445mm

Wheelbase

2,875mm

2,960mm

Boot volume

425 litres

748 litres

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